Federal regulators have adopted new rules for the credit card industry intended to protect consumers from arbitrary hikes in interest rates or unfair time constraints for payment.
Among other things, the rules would let credit card companies raise interest rates only on new cards, future purchases or advances, and not on existing balances.
Eric Seto, the executive director of the Louisville Asset Building Coalition, which provides debt counseling and similar services, says the rules are good news for people who have amassed a lot of credit card debt, but they won’t take the place of responsible money management.
“No matter what the rates are and what the deals are still you spend what you have, not spend what someone’s willing to loan you,” she said.
The new rules are scheduled to take effect in July of 2010.